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Dinosaur Highlights a Jurassic Mystery

Dinosaur Highlights a Jurassic Mystery
A restoration of Sarahsaurus. Credit: Brian Engh/Marsh and Rowe 2018

In North America, at least, the Early Jurassic is a mysterious time. There are plenty of rocks of the right age to document the comings and goings of species as the Age of Dinosaurs kicked into high gear. Remnants of prehistoric sand dunes capture the tracks and traces of dinosaurs, arthropods, protomammals, and more, for example, in localities from the East Coast to the middle of the Four Corners. But if you’re looking for bones, the Early Jurassic can be a heartbreaker.

Sauropodomorphs are a fine example of this frustration. These dinosaurs were the relatives and forerunners of familiar giants like Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus. They were often awkward, gangly creatures who stood cantilevered on two legs or with a flexed quadrupedal posture, their long necks carrying small heads with grins brimming with leaf-shaped teeth. And in the whole of North America’s Early Jurassic record, there are only three.

Scientific American, Oct.11, 2018

UPI, Oct. 11, 2018

The Daily Mail, Oct. 10, 2018

 

Featuring: Andrew Marsh, Alumnus, Jackson School of Geosciences